Festive Feasts: Pork Belly with Cabbage and Applesauce

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Slow cooked to create a meltingly tender slab of meat this is great way to enjoy your locally sourced Pork. And you really can’t beat this way to prepare cabbage. This recipe was created for us by local chef, Jack Greenall from Smoke and Thyme Find out more at www.smokeandthyme.com

What you need:

  • 1 piece of pork belly – min 800g, recommend ~200g per person
  • 6-10 sharp cooking apples
  • 1 Leafy Cabbage
  • A generous knob of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Maldon Sea Salt
  • Sunflower oil

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 230C
    Score the pork belly all over the skin side with a sharp knife (a clean Stanley knife is ideal for this job). Try to make the cuts 0.5cm – 1cm apart, and about 1mm – 2mm deep. Generously rub Maldon salt all over the scored skin like you’re giving your pork an exfoliating scrub. Drizzle with oil and rub this in all over the skin side as well.
  2. Put the pork on a baking tray or in a casserole dish, skin side up, and roast until the crackling comes up (30 mins – 1hr). Turn the oven down to 180C and continue to roast for another 60-90 minutes, until the pork belly feels very tender indeed. Remove from the oven, cover with foil, and rest in a warm place for 15 – 30 mins
  3. Meanwhile, peel and core your apples and cut them into small pieces or grate them. Place them in a large saucepan and add just enough boiling water to cover the bottom of the pan. Sweat the apples down over a low heat until they lose all their structural integrity and become a chunky sauce. You can add sugar or lemon juice/white wine vinegar if you want a sweeter or more sour sauce.
  4. Slice your cabbage into 1 cm thick ribbons, discarding the core of the leaves if they seem particularly woody. Rinse the cabbage very well. Crush the garlic and combine with the butter.
  5. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Immediately before you want to serve, drop the sliced cabbage into the boiling water, cover with a lid and allow to boil for 2 – 5 mins, until the cabbage is tender but still a bright and vibrant colour. Drain from the water and toss with the garlic butter and a pinch of salt. Serve immediately with the pork and the applesauce.